Well, its been a long journey, but I have finally moved into my new place and trying to settle in. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for me during this anxious and stressful time.
This move has got me to thinking about new beginnings, starting over, turning to a new chapter. That last one, is something my realtor gave me. He commissioned an artist rendering of the outside of my new place as a gift to me on the purchase. The caption reads, “The Waitschies’s home, a new chapter.” So much of life involves starting over. We make it out of infancy to the toddler stage. Then we move through preschool and kindergarten, and graduate to elementary school. We are now the “Big Kids.” We’ve already learned to turn to new chapters in our development. During our school age years, we turn several chapters on our way to adulthood. Once we’re an adult, we turn some chapters rather quickly: jobs, promotions, relationships, homes, children. These chapters slow us down a little, and we try to take in the changes. Then, as we age, we have new chapters: caring for aging or sick parents or spouses/partners, marriage of children, grandchildren, retirement, and even our own mortality.
We become quite adept at turning pages and chapters in our lives. In all of these new chapters, where does God play a part? Is it all about our success, our progress, our achievement?
My intimate knowledge of God tells me God is integral in our journey, and God is preeminent in each stage, each turn of the page, every new chapter. If I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned quite clearly God is the God of new beginnings. The whole story of God and God’s people have been about new chapters new beginnings, starting over. We messed up in the very beginning, and we were driven out of the garden. God gives us another chance, a new opportunity, a new beginning. We still can’t quite keep it together, God starts us over with Noah and the ark. We land on a mountain top, and we turn the page to a new chapter, a new beginning. We still mess up along the way, and end up enslaved in a foreign land. God sends Moses to fetch us out of that place, to turn the page and chapter for a new beginning on our way to the promised land. We have lots of journeys, lots of failings, falling down, anxious moments, and even death to contend with. God keeps turning the pages for us to have new beginning, after new beginning. This keeps going all the way to Jesus’ death and resurrection. That was the ultimate new chapter for all of us. That event said unequivocally, God is the God of new beginnings.
I don’t pretend to know all of the trials, tribulations, issues, problems, situations, and circumstances you face. I know from my own experience, its been quite a journey this thing called life. Every step of the way on my journey, I can look back and see God standing there holding open the door to a new beginning for me. I suspect the same is true for you. God has traveled your journey with you, every step of the way. Holding open doors for you, even when you didn’t realize that new beginning was being blessed by God.
As a church family, we are about to turn a new chapter in our lives together. We are going back to in person worship very soon, and when we do, it will be a new beginning. When we start new beginnings, we don’t forget our past or all that the past means to us. What we do though, is walk into our new beginning with fresh and new eyes, a fresh and open heart and mind. We ready ourselves for what new thing God wants to do in us and through us in the new chapter God is providing.
I know God is holding each of us in the palm of God’s hand. God has carried us through this time when we’ve been apart, and God is readying us for what new thing lies ahead. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do!
Love and Peace,